In a hard-fought rivalry women’s soccer match this past Saturday, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athenas suffered a 4-1 loss to the Pomona-Pitzer (P-P) Sagehens. It was still fresh on the minds of both teams that last year, while CMS may have won SCIAC, P-P ended CMS’s run in the NCAA tournament in November with a resounding 6-0 victory. With that in mind, the stage was set for a captivating game from the beginning.
After the first whistle blew, the Sagehens (3-3-0, 1-1-0 SCIAC) maintained possession and created multiple scoring opportunities. The Athenas (1-4-1, 0-2-1 SCIAC) marked up well at first, but after relentless pressure the Sagehens finally opened the floodgates, as Lily Gane PZ ‘20 went toe to toe with the keeper and scored a goal after 18:08 minutes of play.
The momentum shift became evident as the Sagehens quickly went on a scoring rampage. At 20:29, Chloe Hamer PZ ‘21 struck the ball off a cross from the right side of the box and found the back of the net.
Just when the fans’ voices had recovered from cheering for the first two goals, a rebound goal off a freekick opportunity by Abby Onderwyzer Gold PO ‘18 at 24:00 made the sidelines erupt. The Sagehens stayed up 3-0 until the end of the half.
But the Athenas did not go down without a fight.
After getting no shots in the first half, CMS controlled the second half in terms of pressure and possession, as they took 8 shots with 4 on target. “In the second half, we really dominated with possession,” Wren Osler SC ’18 noted. “We just were unable to find the outsides and get shots on goal because we held the ball for too long.”
While CMS’s second half didn’t quite counter P-P’s domination of the first half, their persistence eventually paid off. After 50:45 minutes of play, Rhiann Holman CMC ‘20 gracefully shot with her back to goal over the keeper into the right side of the frame.
CMS seemed determined to force themselves back into the rivalry game after this point and continued to put on the pressure and push for a second goal, forcing keeper Isa Berardo PZ ‘20 to make some impressive saves. The P-P bench was noticeably quiet after this point, perhaps sensing a potential comeback.
However, Abby Onderwyzer Gold PO ’18 put the final nail in CMS's coffin when she buried her second goal at 83:25. “The game went exactly how we wanted it to go,” Onderwyzer said after. “We had high energy and intensity from every single player. Moving forward, we want to continue the way we ended the game against CMS. That game really inspired us to keep working hard.”
After the game, new CMS coach Jennifer Clark, who previously coached the team from 2000-2003, said that looking toward the future is “hard with a new coach and a new system. We’re still trying to figure out everything, and I’m still trying to figure out where people play best. We just want to keep building. We have the right pieces in place.”
Despite the tough first 45 minutes, Holman is optimistic about the future. “The issues in the first half are definitely things we can work on and fix before the next game,” she sead.